We are passing out guilt today, hand over fist. So much guilt is floating around out there that it may as well be on the menu at the ubiquitous American coffee shop.
“Masks and social distancing keep people safe”
“How can you live with the knowledge you made someone sick?”
“What’s so special about you that you aren’t wearing a mask (while outdoors, 40+ feet from anyone)? Or are you just selfish?”
These phrases are all too common even in the land of ‘North Dakota Nice.’ And I think most genuinely believe them to be accurate. Certainly, some people must feel very secure in their beliefs as they overtly challenge random people who maybe disagree with them.
Guilt and shame are not new commodities. Even the ‘post photos of your food’ fad and the ‘share the results of a random online quiz’ fad are often based on the idea of making others feel shame and/or guilt for not measuring up. Mask wearing and #maskupnd is no different. It matters not if the above claims are valid, we’ve given the bullies of the world free license to guilt and shame their fellow man, as long as they do so along an approved, mass cultural line of “thought.”
You can’t get much more mass cultural group-think than the idea that everyone ought to wear a mask. Regardless of religion, political persuasion, income or age, masked brain washing is in effect. Even children’s cartoon characters and puppets are wearing them.
The irony of wearing a mask that says “Faith over fear” or any other Biblical reference to God’s power is unseen. That there is something wrong with claiming you wear a mask out of your great love one other while also pointing fingers at and attacking anyone who doesn’t is inconceivable. Right along side this is the lack of understanding that it’s one single word that makes question, “What’s wrong with making everyone wear a mask?” so offensive. (Making, the offensive word is making.) It’s neither American or Christian, nor even simply good policy to force everyone, regardless of their needs or cicumstances, to wear a mask but hardly anyone cares.
A collective round of “I don’t get it, please explain” is unfortunately not coming. Rather than searching for answers and understanding, rather than being respectful, cutting off the conversation through unethical tricks is more common.
The greatest issue though is the assumption of god-like power. We used to acknowledge that if person A coughs on or near person B, person A did not force person B to be sick. We’ve left that silly notion behind. Now not only if you cough on them, but if you simply stand near them, you, in your inifinite control over life, have forced illness, job loss and even death upon another human – well as long as you stood within 6 feet for 15 mimutes.
Of course if you were only 6.2 feet away for 14.5 minutes then you won’t be weilding the lightening-infused power of Greyskull. (If the He-man “I have the POWWWEEERR!” gif above didn’t load for you then this reference is probably going to be really weird and random. Well, weirder and randomer…)
Ignore the fact that masks are like chain link fencing to viruses. Ignore the fact that you cannot see let alone control the movements of a virus. Ignore the fact that you have zero control over how someone else’s body interacts with a virus, heck other than trying to maintain good health, you have little control over how your own body interacts with a virus. Just forget all of that logical stuff and embrace the power!
What an ego boost right? Not only do you have the power to make someone sick, they might even die from covid, so you have the power of life and death all held within your hands. Even if they aren’t sick you can poetentially, supposedly, contract-trace someone right out of their job. This is heady stuff. Woo! Your pride is amazed at your goodness you life-saving mask wearer. We should all be as wondrous as you. Why you’re practically God.
You, in your infinite wisdom and power, have every right to keep on dolling out the guilt to others. “Well I wear a mask and social distance because what if I didn’t and I made someone sick,” she said with a smile over the curled paper rim of a half skinny, half calf, venti mocha latte.
And how about these “mandates” that carry no official penalty for noncompliance? They’re just ratcheting up the temperature on the social-pressure cooker so that maskers feel more emboldened about harassing others. Something encouraging, though, is that there must be enough patriots keeping Burgum and these city-council members in check that they don’t just come out and pull a Gavin Newsom on us. They are obviously afraid of the backlash if they fully mandate masks, so instead Burgum passes the buck to mayors and city councils, and the mayors and city councils float superficial mask policies that pass the buck to the overwrought bullies who are comfortable confronting strangers in public. It’s cowardice and manipulation, and for those of us who value truth and justice, there’s no more frustrating time to be alive.
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Well… I can imagine a few times in history that might have been extremely frustrating. I’m not certain which would be worse. Watching the daily lies and the blantant rewriting of history though is sad and frustrating and demoralizing.
I pray that once the election is over Burgum doesn’t jump onto the great fascist mask bandwagon. Only time will tell.